||Brown, Joe (1930-)|
||Joe Brown is rightly revered among rock climbers – in the 1950s there was arguably no finer climber in Britain. Along with Don Whillans and others, the former plumber and decorator helped to propel rock climbing to new heights of difficulty during the post-war decade. But Brown’s climbing skill was multi-faceted; he excelled in the Alpine arena too, and became one of the world’s leading mountaineers when, with George Band, he climbed the third-highest mountain in the world, Kangchenjunga, in 1955. In the 1960s and 70s Brown continued to innovate, opening up previously undeveloped climbing areas in the UK such as the sea cliffs of Anglesey and continuing his mountaineering exploits in places as far flung as South America, Russia, and Pakistan. Brown’s influence over the sport was given a wider currency in the 60s by his frequent appearances in early TV outside broadcast spectaculars. From the mid- 1960s to the mid- 1970s Brown was almost as prominent a media personality as Chris Bonington, being invariably described by the tabloid moniker ‘The Human Fly’, as he stuck to precipitous cliffs for the camera. But even without this media exposure, Brown is arguably the British climber of the twentieth century. His skill and vision helped pave the way towards the modern concept of the sport, while his legacy of climbs continue to be among the most exciting, challenging and sought-after routes in the country.
Further reading: The Hard Years, Joe Brown, Gollancz, 1967
||Brown, Joe (1930-)
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